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Nagi of Mekong

Tuscany, Italy
Level Contributor
177 posts
121 reviews
Nagi of Mekong

We,2ladies are taking the nagi of mekong

on Jan 7th To L.P.

Hope we are not the only ones??

And that Boat is going also with a few

passengers?

Guangzhou
Level Contributor
16 posts
1 review
1. Re: Nagi of Mekong

Like to know how was the experience with this slow boat as i wanted to use then in Apirl

Guangzhou
Level Contributor
16 posts
1 review
2. Re: Nagi of Mekong

Like to know how was the experience with this slow boat as i wanted to use then in Apirl

Tuscany, Italy
Level Contributor
177 posts
121 reviews
3. Re: Nagi of Mekong

hI,

I can recommend the Nagi of Mekong very much. We were 12 people on board, Germany,Australia,Luxembourg,USA and myself from Switzerland I m already 66 and enjoyed the trip very much. We had a UNESCO certified guide, great food made by a family and very interesting seightseeings, like on the homepage. We were picked up, helped through border check. It was really great for the price. The overnight stay was also very good, clean hotel and on the boat plenty of space. Hope this helps.

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
1 post
7 reviews
4. Re: Nagi of Mekong

We had a great time with Nagi of the Mekong in May. There were only four of us on the boat, but they still took the trip. Highly recommended.

Greer, South...
Level Contributor
212 posts
178 reviews
5. Re: Nagi of Mekong

Hi everyone...we are debating taking the Nagi cruise or the Luang Say cruise. It seems like it's the same trip, but there's such a huge price difference....does anyone know why? People have tried to ask this question several times in other places on the Laos forum threads, but we've yet to come up with a definitive answer to this question.

Thanks!

sydney
Level Contributor
21 posts
326 reviews
6. Re: Nagi of Mekong

We have a Thai national from Chiang Mai who has helped us with planning & booking our trip to Thailand & Laos in Nov 2011. We are a group of 5 including our Thai friend who now lives in Australia. 2 of them have done the 2 day Mekong trip to Laung Prabang via Pak Beng on the public boat. Cheap but not so chearful. Hard wooden bench seats, often overcrowded 80 - 100 on a boat designed for 70. No food, luggage piled in a huge pile, scramble to get on board to get a good seat away from the noise of the engines. Also issues with smokers & boozy backpacker stuck for 2 days on the boat being a bit bored. The speed boat option with 6 people is mighty dangerous and impossibly noisy. Our Thai friend said "No Way". The Luang Say cruise is very expensive as it is owned by the resort you stay in along the way and is geared to tourists that are happy to spend nearly $500 a head for 2 days. Even so this boat sunk in 2010 in the low water period of the year. After lots of checking we found the Nagi of Mekong is run by a good operator who charters one of the 100 foot (35 metre) boat, pulls out the benches and installs comfy bus seats and tables for the smorgasboard lunches and morning & afternoon teas. Seating for 35 - the same as the expensive boat. Stops at a Laos village on day one & Pak Ou cave on day two. Overnight in Pak Beng in a comfy 3 star hotel. Pick up from Chiang Kong hotel and help with Laos visa on the morning of departure. Cost of $160 per head + $35 for Laos visa + dinner at Pak Beng at your cost. Everything else is included.

The Nagi of Mekong seems a very civilised option at a reasonable price. We have confirmed our booking for 5 in November 2011. Looks great.

Stephen - Australia

Edited: 14 September 2011, 12:36
Melbourne
Level Contributor
6 posts
34 reviews
7. Re: Nagi of Mekong

The Nagi of Mekong is a lucky dip type service. If he has enough passengers you will get the described service however, as in my case, when there are only 4 people booked you get an entirely different experience from what I have read.

The operator sent a worker to our hotel the evening before the trip. He told us that because of low water, the boat would be leaving an hour earlier. OK. We were collected in the morning and taken to a boat that was no different to the other boats and no better than the public boat that day. The boat was very slow and very very noisy. They were reluctant to stop anywhere as they did not want to arrive at the evening destination in the dark. This meant the wonderful places I was hoping to visit on the way were brief stops. The cave was nice but we were encouraged not to go to the second cave due to time. We briefly stopped to walk up a hill into a village that made me feel a little intrusive. Walking around looking at people as if they were animals in a zoo. Yes, it was a very different way of life and I am glad I went there however it is an odd experience. There is not market, no shop, no crafts to buy so it is not as if we were giving anything back to this community; just taking.

Food - nothing to buy on the boat or anywhere along the way so stock up before you go. At least they do not advertise that they sell beverages on the site any more. We convinced the lovely man taking us to stop and get some drinks as the service said this would be provided at the time.

The lunch was OK but breakfast shocking. Because the small boat was so slow, we had to board early again on the second morning and instead of breakfast at the hotel, we were to be given breakfast on the boat. My daughter and I had said we do not eat egg the previous evening yet all we were offered were a few foam containers of bread and cold egg. The boat crew cooked themselves up the most wonderful feast.

Having mentioned that perhaps we would have enjoyed there breakfast rather than cold egg, the guide arranged for a great Lao lunch. He knew we were being ripped off and felt very badly about this and did what he could at all times to compensate including taking us out to dinner. I do hope the owner paid him for this as he was unsure at the time.

There were no stops the second day as the boat needed to get the other 2 passengers to Huay Xai in time to cross over to Thailand. They were taken off the boat early and put on a speed boat to get them to the crossing. We were taken to the end where our guide helped us find a hotel. As I said, he was the saving grace; full of information and tried his best.

The public boat changes every day so you never know what you will get. I believe the boat operators get a licence to do the run only a couple of times a year so when it is their day, they want to make as much money as they can. In the quiet season, the public boat is a much better option however I would not want to get stuck on it on a crowded day. The Nagi is very expensive for what you get but at least you will have a seat.

The Mekong is amazing. It is a swirling mass of water that travels through incredible places of which you will see very little of. The view from a boat is just of the banks and hills. The villages are not in view. You will see white buffalo, fishermen, water , rocks and other boats. I enjoyed it and my daughter thought it was the most boring 2 days of her life. Bring a book, pack of cards, etc. which ever boat you choose.

Hope this helps some one.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
1,803 posts
237 reviews
8. Re: Nagi of Mekong

Hi,

We just did the Nagi in the last week of October and had a great experience, unlike the post above. We went down stream from Huay Xai to LP and the river was probably 'medium' - not low but not high either.

We were picked up on time, as arranged, and had help with the border crossing and visas. Our boat was pretty much the same as all the others, except the public boat that looked crowded without the comfortable chairs we had. Our trip had 24 people, including 5 children. Even so, there was plenty of space. Lunch was provided on the boat each day and was a buffet of a few different Laos dishes, including vegetarian options. There was snacks, beer and soft drink available to purchase on board, with plenty of cold water supplied free.

The hotel in Pakbeng was fine. We stopped at a village on the first day, which was a bit of a weird experience - the people were a bit timid but happy to show us their way of life etc. We had brought along some books and pencils and donated them. There was a box near the village's entrance that us tourists could donate goods or money to help them. We stopped at the caves on the second day and had well over an hour to explore both the lower and upper caves. We also had about an hour at the second 'whiskey' village after that, which was clearly geared for boats and tourists, with many stalls and handicrafts (and whiskey) available to purchase.

But those two magnificent days, watching the countryside go by, were one of the highlights of my 3 weeks. The scenery is spectacular with misty mountains and rolling hills, with fields and farms, jungles and clearings. You see many villages and huts dotted throughout, with the occasional temple or Buddha statue. The river was a tawny brown mass of churning, bubbling water, with many whirlpools and rocky obstacles. And we saw many locals fishing and tending their lifestock along the banks. Truly, it was just an amazing way to relax and enjoy river life in Laos and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

- K

sydney
Level Contributor
21 posts
326 reviews
9. Re: Nagi of Mekong

We did this trip with 24 on the boat with a capacity of 34 on Nov 13 & 14.

Everything was excellent and exactly as presented. Adisak picked us up at our hotel, helped us with Thai departure arrangement, took us in the ferry across the river to Laos & advised on visas. Then taken in a taxi truck to meet the boat. Great trip, Great skipper, food, young guide. Hotel at Pak Beng is in a great location. Help to hotel, advice about restaurants for dinner. Cool the second morning and we were provided with brocade blankets.

The first visit to a Laos village on Day 1 was interesting. On the second day the village had woven scarf and trinkets.. nothing we would buy. Pak Ou cave with Buddhas had time for both lower & upper caves. Timing was good but left at 7.30 am the second morning to fit everything in arriving at 5 pm.

Great scenery. Great trip down river. Laung Prabang a fantastic French colonial world heritage town. Loved Northern Thailand & Laos

lewes uk
Level Contributor
10,722 posts
206 reviews
10. Re: Nagi of Mekong

Hi,

I agree with the above, if fact I was on the same boat and it was a great trip with a wonderful group of people on board. The trip was definately a highlight and having done the regular slow boat worth the extra money. Everything was made really easy from Chiang Khong to LPB and the boat crew couldn't have been nicer or more accomodating.

Highly recommended

Cheers

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